Citizen TV & Waihiga Mwaura Role in Ex-CS Wario's Conviction

  • Citizen TV Anchor Waihiga Mwaura during a broadcast in December 2019.
    Citizen TV Anchor Waihiga Mwaura during a broadcast in December 2019.
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  • Citizen TV presenter Waihiga Mwaura played a big role in exposing the Rio 2016 Olympics Games scandal that has resulted in the conviction of former Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario.

    Wario was sentenced to six years in prison or pay a fine of Ksh3.6m after he was found guilty of abuse of office.

    Waihiga's pivotal role was through his piece titled ‘Fiasco in Rio’ aired on Citizen Prime Time on August 28 2016, which sparked a lot of reactions from Kenyans.

    In his investigative piece, Waihiga uncovered how the National Olympics Committee-Kenya (NOCK) officials ferried excess joyriders at the expense of taxpayers.

    Waihiga in his expose unearthed how he was among the sports journalists listed by NOCK to travel to Brazil for the Olympic games yet all his bills were catered for by Royal Media Services

    The expose blew up becoming a national scandal that prompted the formation of Rio-de-Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games Probe Committee by the Ministry of Sports, Culture and the Arts through Kenya Gazette, Notice number 7176.

    File image of Citizen TV anchor Waihiga Mwaura
    File image of Citizen TV anchor Waihiga Mwaura
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    Due to his expose, Waihiga was summoned by the committee to shed light on what really transpired.

    “In pursuit of our terms of reference, and in recognition of your official and professional role at the Rio Olympics, we kindly request you to appear before the committee to help shed light on various issues pertaining to Kenya’s participation at the Rio Games as we seek to make solid recommendations on Kenya’s improved participation at the Olympics and other major international assignments.

    “We value your contribution to Kenyan sport and would like to have a brief session with you on Thursday, 22nd September 2016, at 10.00am,” part of the letter addressed to Waihiga and dated Tuesday that was signed by Probe Committee Chairman and Dean of Students at Strathmore University, Paul Ochieng, read in part.

    During the summons, former CNN/MultiChoice Africa Sports Journalists Sports Award winner was dragged into the fiasco after the details that were in possession of the committee alleged that he had received Ksh100,000 for his expenses.

    Waihiga denied the allegations before magistrate Elizabeth Osoro at the Milimani law courts.

    “I learnt of the list that had the Kenyan contingency to Rio. The list had featured my name. I wish to state that I carried a story on this on Citizen TV upon arrival from Rio. The story was dubbed ‘Rio Fiasco'," Mwaura stated.

    He added, "My accommodation was catered for by my employer and the same extended to my colleagues accompanying me. I wish to state that while in Rio and after coming back, I never received any facilitation from Nock or government agency."

    His piece led to the former CS Wario and other sports officials charged with six counts of abuse of office and another four of willful failure to comply with the law relating to the management of public funds.

    They were accused of unlawfully authorising payment in excess of Sh15,907,500 as allowances to members of the Kenyan team.

    His efforts paid off on Thursday, September 16 when Magistrate Elizabeth Juma sent Wario to jail for 6 years with an option to pay a Ksh3.6 million fine to secure his freedom.

    His co-accused, the former Nock official Stephen Soi was slapped with a ten years jail term or ordered to pay a fine of Ksh103 million after he was found guilty in five counts of corruption.

    "I have also taken into account that by the time Wario instructed some individuals to be included in team Kenya, there was no negative publicity. It only emerged later when they won in Rio."

    "But they managed to bring good performance but in the process, the government of Kenya lost a good amount of money. This brought a bad image," the Magistrate ruled.

    The sentencing saw most Kenyans take to social media to congratulate him for his central role that finally saw successful conviction.

    Responding to one of the congratulatory messages, Mwaura stated that hope the sentencing will bring sanity to the sports sector.

    "Thank you for this brother. It was a team effort on our end and hopefully, it has made life easier for Kenya's gallant sportsmen and women."

    Former Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario
    Former Sports Cabinet Secretary Hassan Wario
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